The cheapest petrol in the county

Petrol in Ballinspittle is only €1.819/lt today. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen in a long time.

After listening to this Planet Money podcast about the cost of gasoline I wonder if we will have expensive petrol and diesel forever? Reason being, it’s unlikely that new oil refineries will ever be built again as demand for oil products plummet in the next decade. A guest on the show predicted that a barrel of oil will be $20-$30 in ten years time.

Electric cars are becoming a lot more attractive, but I won’t be looking to buy a new car for quite some time.

For you, my American reader, there are 3.78541 litres in a US gallon. That means the price of gasoline/petrol here is $6.89/gallon.

Aside from all this, the reduction in oil production will have a detrimental effect on sulphur production. It’s a by-product of that system and used by the metal and fertilizer industries. It’s cheap as chips now, but if there’s a shortage, the price of food will skyrocket.

Yikes. Any good news about the future?


Edna Egbert on the Ledge

Well, I bought several books recently. They’re all photography books, but I wanted to share one photo from the book I bought yesterday.

Edna Egbert on the ledge, No. 497 Dean Street. 1942.

The book is New York exposed : photographs from the Daily News, and you can read it online on or buy it in a few places if you search for it.

When I flipped through the book in Vibes & Scribes this photo was the first one I saw and immediately grabbed me. It totally looks staged, but Edna’s son, Fred, got married, joined the army, and had not written to his mother since, and she was distraught! I don’t know if she could have killed herself landing on the steps of that house, but there were sharp spikes on the railings if she had jumped far enough, so who knows? It was a cry for help.

A policeman kept her talking for 25 minutes while others rigged a net.

As officers Ed Murphy and George Munday tried to persuade her to come back into the building, she brandished a mirror and started swinging it at them. The police grabbed her arms and she proceeded to sit on the ledge.

600 people gathered to watch. The police tried to persuade her to come in the window, but she either jumped or was finally pushed to fall safely in the net.

According to census records, Mrs. Egbert was either 42 or 44-years-old, not 50 as noted in every article about this story. Her husband John Egbert was 64 and their wayward son Fred was 20. Whatever became of Mrs. Egbert and her non-writing son Fred is unknown.

The book is full of other great photos, some you’ll recognise and descriptions to explain what’s happening. Borrow it for an hour on and take a look through it.


RIP Oliver Frey

ZZAP!64 Issue #50: Speedball

Back in the day, magazines were a huge part of the computer scene. Each machine had a dedicated magazine, and if you were lucky, more than one.

I bought my Commodore 64 in 1989, but I had a Speccy 48K before that. A company called Newsfield published a magazine called Crash that catered to the interests of the Speccy, and also one called Zzap!64 for the C64. The transition from Speccy to C64 meant moving from one magazine to another of course. One constant in both worlds was Oliver Frey’s amazing artwork that graced the covers of both magazines.

My favourite is probably the cover of issue 50 of Zzap!64, the first issue of that magazine I ever bought, but he painted so many others it’s hard to choose.

Choose I did however, as I bought a number of prints off his website in late 2021. I bought the Speedball print featured above, as well as the Retrograde and Elite covers. I’m awful for hoarding things and I still have the tube the prints came in with what is probably Oliver’s writing on it, or maybe his partner, Roger’s, who knows?

All this is to say I’m a huge fan and admirer of Oli’s work. So it was with great sadness that I read that he passed away at 7:55 this morning. He was only 74. Thank you for the art, Oli. My condolences to your partner, family and friends.


Lightroom Classic does not have access to some Standard folders.

I have found a brand new error in Lightroom that doesn’t appear in search engines yet. It started happening after the update today. There are similar error messages reported on the Adobe forums, but not this one.

Unfortunately, the “Learn More” link goes to a URL that quickly changes to which shows a 404!

It appears the entire directory is showing a 404 now. I guess they really do want to get rid of Lightroom Classic.

Anyone know how to fix this one?

Edit: the next morning it looks like Adobe have fixed their site and the documentation above is live!
For unknown reasons, that warning dialogue has gone away. The only major change was updating to macOS 12.5.1. If you see the error, “Lightroom Classic does not have access to some Standard folders.” then hopefully updating macOS will do the trick, but the documentation is now working and suggests going into Systems & Privacy to give Lightroom Classic more access.


The best way to browse Instagram

Instagram is becoming a video site (mirror) like TikTok, isn’t it? I want to see photos when I go to Instagram. I don’t want to see reel after reel from suggested accounts just because I liked something random. I only ever post photos on Instagram, so this is a shout out to anyone who follows me and doesn’t see my fabulous/amazing/gorgeous photos! You’re missing out!

Flowers in Waterloo

There are two ways to get control back.

  1. Add 50 of your friends to the Favourites list.
  2. Use the Following feed instead of the algorithm.

Both features were only added in March this year, so you might not be familiar with them, even if you’re a long-time user.

Dancing in Birmingham

The favourites list is a list of up to 50 Instagram accounts you want to see first in your feed when you open the app. You’ll still see suggested reels and other nonsense, but these 50 accounts will be given priority.

Fireworks on Spike Island

There are two ways to fill up your favourites list. Either go to the profile of the account you want to add, click on “Following” and then tap “Add to Favourites”, or open your own profile, tap the burger menu (the 3 lines at the top-right of the screen) to open settings, and tap Favourites where you will be shown a selection of your friends, and a search box to look for others.

The other way is much simpler and allows you to view your feed in a chronological order. And, don’t let Instagram know, but it appears to be advert free too! Tap on the Instagram logo on the top-left of the screen and you’ll see a menu saying Following and Favorites. The Favorites feed will obviously show your favourite accounts, but the Following feed is what I’m interested in.

The Following feed is a refreshing look at Instagram. It’s chronological, so you start from the newest photo or video uploaded by your Instagram friends. You’ll suddenly see posts from people you haven’t seen in years because the algorithm decided you weren’t interested in their photos! If you do nothing else after reading this post, try the Following feed. Let me know what you think of it.

A Window on Rome

I have a few accounts on Instagram, docinphotos and streetsofcork are my main ones. I also occasionally share old photos of Cork on the Photos of Old Cork Instagram account. Check out the photos. If you like them, follow me and say hi!


Seán Maquire, Fidil agus Píb Uillinne, 1959

I called to see my Dad yesterday, and he told me he has resurrected his old Pioneer record player. I have many memories of this device sitting in the corner of the “good room” at home, and after the needle and the rubber band that drives the player were replaced it works really well.

Seán Maquire (McQuire) recorded an album of songs in 1959, which my dad still has in his collection. Here’s twenty seconds of music from that album.

I have to confess I’m not familiar with Seán’s music at all, but an online search found a Wikipedia page about Seán McQuire which shows his birth surname as Maquire. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 77.

I’ll have to figure out how to properly record those vinyl records to digital format. Suggestions? It used to be simple to record things with an AUX or 3.5mm cable to a tape recorder, but Mac laptops and Android phones are more problematic. Maybe I’ll have to dig out my old desktop PC with its numerous audio sockets…

Want more? Enjoy the following …


A C64 Wall

Now, this is how I’d like to have a wall painted in my home-office, if it was large enough, and wasn’t already bulging with shelves and posters.

Patrick Nance posted this photo of his nerd room on this Commodore 64/128 group on Facebook recently, and it was very well received.


Hot hot hot!

When a toddler is about to touch something hot, you warn them it’s “HOT HOT HOT!” What do you do when the world is overheating?

My phone says it’s 30C right now where I live, and in the Phoenix Park in Dublin it’s 33C, almost breaking the Irish temperature record set in 1835.

And Ireland is probably the coldest place in Europe today. How did we let this happen?

It’s a mystery


Play the original Monkey Island

A few months ago, news broke that a new Monkey Island game would be released in 2022!

I have to confess, I never played any of the Monkey Island games. I was aware of them but point and click adventures really aren’t my thing. Many years ago I bought the first Simon the Sorcerer game because I thought it had something to do with Discworld. The graphics and speech in the game were outstanding but after only a short time I got stuck and gave up.

So, what’s this Monkey Island thing about then? How do I play the original “The Secret of Monkey Island”? We live in exciting times and the Internet Archive comes to the rescue!

On this page you’ll find a fully playable copy of the game you can play in your browser. If that’s not enough, there’s also the Ultimate Talkie Version of the game with full speech instead of text.

Playing in the browser is OK for a preview of what it’s like, but the best way to play it is through ScummVM. On both pages above you’ll find zip files containing “The Secret of Monkey Island”. The talkie version is much bigger, but by today’s standards, quite small still.

Download the game, unzip and point ScummVM at the extracted files and you can play the game on your home computer! As you’re unlikely to finish the game in one sitting, here’s how to save and load the game in ScummVM. Enjoy!

PS. It looks like Simon The Sorcerer is also available in multiple places on!


A C2N in The Matrix resurrections?

I presume I’m not spoiling anything when I post the screenshot above from The Matrix Resurrections. Close to the middle of the frame is the distinctive, rounded casing of a Commodore 1530 (C2N) Datasette. It’s the cassette player the Commodore 64/Vic 20/Pet used for storage way back in the 80s and early 90s. This Wikipedia page has more if you’re interested.

I’ve searched online, but so far only found one person who thinks the same as I do. If it’s not a C2N cassette player, then what is it?